October 2011 Archives

Real Ale - Sisyphus 2009

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Sisyphus.JPGSisyphus is a Barleywine from Real Ale Brewing Company in Blanco, Texas. Real Ale brews Devils Backbone a great Belgian-style tripel, and Lost Gold, a highly carbonated, full bodied, brassy IPA, with a smooth head. I would classify it as a dirty hop IPA. I was impressed when I visited Stella's, in Grand Rapids, that the waitress made this definition between the citrusy, and dirty IPA, when she suggested Short's Huma-Lupa-Licious IPA (a great Michigan ale).

Sisyphus pours a deep orange, with minimal head. It's a candi-rum malty brew, with a hoppy, sweet malt nose, mouthfeel typical of the style, and a hop tang. It is a great ale, however with big hop profile, and a definite bitter hop finish, it's a bit much for a barleywine. I can only imagine the hop wham it deals before it's aged. That said, it's far from disappointing, and being a hophead I really don't mind the bitter hop content. My biggest criticism is that Real Ale uses the word epic to describe it on the label. I don't think I would do that.  

At The Libertine - a great little beer bar if you're ever in Dallas TX - I sampled Real Ale's Full Moon Pale Rye at a clear, amber ale with a slight hop dryness like Montana weeds. So far everything I have tried from Real Ale impresses me.

Huma_Shorts.jpgShort's Huma Lupa IPA

BottleMark Custom Caps

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customcaps.JPGMy BottleMark custom bottle caps arrived today. BottleMark is a small business that does small, or large batch, custom bottle caps for crafters, homebrewers, and anyone else who doesn't want to order a million custom caps. It is not some oversized evil corporation who doesn't give a rip. It's just what America needs, and it's just what you need if you want to spice up those homebrews. Their customer service is great, and you can do everything online. I am pretty impressed with the quality. Now to bottle some homebrews.

Lagunitas WTF

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Lagunitas_WTF.JPGI was in the mood for something new. This was it. Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot is labeled a 'jobless recovery ale'. Originally slated to be the 2010 Recovery Ale, but since our economic recovery is yet to come, Lagunitas has just said WTF. The dark color and full body are impressive. Aside from that nothing really stands out about this ale. I don't mean that is a bad way either. It's pretty much a perfect brown, slight hops, with just a little more German maltiness than hopiness. It's very balanced, like a big beer, without the big. Unfortunately I only enjoyed half the bottle before I managed to knock my glass over doing dishes. That was not the way I would have wanted to finish this one, that's for sure. This is quite possibly one of the best ales I have had this year. To be honest I am not a big fan of browns, but I am a big fan of this brew. There are just so many crappy ales on the shelves labeled 'brown' ales. I think I could safely state this is the best brown ale I have ever had. Granted there are a lot of browns out there that I haven't tried. If anything comes along that beats Lagunitas, I will be sure to let you know.

Founders Harvest Ale

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Harvest Ale.JPGWow - talk about fresh hop arouma it's very unique, after a bit it almost smells like fossil fuel, I know that it sounds odd, but its really something. This is as close as you get to hops on the vine in a bottle. It has the body, and mouthfeel, of a cask ale. This is really incredible, no wonder it's so popular. It's a golden ale with a tiny (protein?) haze. A lot of breweries have a distinctive taste to their brews. But it seems that some brews manifest it more than others. This beer tastes like Founders. It has that certain indescribable something that is very detectable. Someday I will have to do a blind taste test to see if I can identify the brewery based on the taste of the ale. That would be fun. Until then try this wet-hopped ale if you can get your hands on a bottle.  

Greedy Bastards

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Founder's Canadian Breakfast Stout was just released this Tuesday, and there are already dozens of greedy bastards on Craigslist and Ebay popping up, asking a $100.00 a bottle. Let this be a warning to those who do this. Beer Karma is a bitch. If the overpaid and underworked (or vice versa, I don't really have my facts together on that one) Michigan liquor control commission shows up at your door, I have no sorrow for you. Beer trading is one thing, some stuff may be impossible to get in your state, and a fair trade is an honest endeavor, especially if you drop in a freebie, or two, for your trading partner. But turning around and scalping a $15.00 bottle of ale for $100.00 cash is just greed. You took that bottle off the shelf from someone who would have appreciated it, in an attempt to rob them. If you hoard a couple of bottles, or three, or four, your pushing your luck. But as long as you share it in the end, it's all good. I am not alone on this one either. If you are young and stupid and new to drinking good beer, wake up before the real beer world blacklists you. If you are just a greedy beer thief, well take it from this Atheist, you are going straight to BEER HELL where beer demons force you to drink trub from Bush fermentation tanks (well that's the rumor).

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

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bcs.JPGToday I picked up a case of Brooklyn Brewery, Black Chocolate Stout. With an unmistakable nose, and sweet chocolate malt flavor, Black Chocolate Stout has remained one of my favorite brews for years. Despite everyone who makes a stout slapping a five dollar price tag on it, Brooklyn Brews remain under two dollars a bottle. This year's is excellent, while not the best year ever, it's close. Given a year or two in the bottle this is a brew that becomes perfect. Currently I have three years of Black Chocolate Stout cellaring.

Black Chocolate Stout is a rich malty stout with a robust roasted malt profile. The thing about Garrett Oliver, he is not a big beer guy. All of his brews are very balanced. This caused me disappointment when I tried Black Ops, unlike Nate Walser and Jeremy Kosmicki he is just not an over the top 'lets add more bourbon and maple syrup' guy. So while I won't be seeking out any Bourbon Barrel offerings from Brooklyn Brewery, Black Chocolate Stout continues to hold it's own on top of my Russian Imperial stout world. Catherine the Great just doesn't know what's she's missing.


The Brewmaster


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This page is an archive of entries from October 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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